Critical Games-The home loss to the Texans by seven points while the defense again did everything it could was frustrating. But being an inter-conference game, it was the best game the Bears could have lost. However, it was only the second game in 2012 against top NFL competition, and as we all know the Bears have lost both. With the Bears only leading Green Bay and Minnesota by a game, now every game remaining is a critical must-win. In fairness, Lovie Smith’s teams have won their share of critical games, but there have been critical losses as well. On Monday I’ll write a post evaluating Smith’s team’s performances in critical situations.
Parity-Of course we all expect our Chicago Bears to win every game and we’re extremely disappointed when they don’t. But for the record, I realize that the level of parity in the NFL is completely evident. In the 1980′s and 1990′s, teams such as the Cowboys and 49ers (ugh) dominated year after year once they had their Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and it was near impossible for other teams to pull even. At the present time, take the Packers, 49ers and Patriots for example. Green Bay and New England have Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but other areas of their game are lacking (defense, running game). In San Francisco they have a championship defense but a weaker quarterback and receivers. It is close to impossible to build a complete dynasty anymore. When we look at it, the Bears are strong in one area (defense) and weak in others (offense just can’t put it completely together) as any other team. And this is life in the NFL as we know it.
The Future-It will certainly be interesting to see where this concussion subject goes. Prior to the last five years or so, the other 87 years of the NFL contained so many plays when players got “dinged” or their “bells rung” that it is unbelievable in comparison now. How will the game of football move forward when concussions are so likely on any given play?
Our New Starter-Although it hasn’t been announced, I think it’s as clear as anything that Jay Cutler will not be playing on Monday Night in San Francisco. So what do you think of Jason Campbell’s chances? My concern lies with his performance on Sunday night in the second half, he was as aimless looking as Cutler has been when he has been “off” so many times in 2012. I am hoping this can be attributed to him going in cold to a game with no practice time. Campbell had better perform on Monday Night, or he’ll join a long line of miserable Bears backup quarterbacks that have failed when it mattered the most. Given Campbell’s solid if unspectacular seven-year career previous to this season, he should be able to manage games. If not, then I seriously question if the offensive line or coaching are more at fault.
Cutler’s Future-When Jay Cutler arrived via trade in 2009, I was so excited that the Bears had a bonafide star at the game’s most important position for the first time in my life. I wasn’t more sure of anything in my life than the fact that the Bears would be annual playoff participants. While Cutler has brought a greater degree of stability to the position than I had ever seen, as we all know it’s been a much more erratic 3 1/2 years than I ever expected. Cutler will be a free agent following the 2013 season. Never would I have thought that I’d question whether he should be a Bear for more than five years, but I am beginning to wonder. And the point may be moot until we see if Cutler can continue after at least his fourth concussion of his football career. Scary thought, I know. Much more on this later.